For the last several centuries, Shukla Brahmins have been located in and around Kanpur, Unnao (and the adjoining hinterland), regions of Bihar, in the fertile Gangetic plains of Awadh, which presently forming part of the state of Uttar Pradesh and some parts of present Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, India. The Shukla Brahmins can also be found in Gujarat, mainly in the Kathiyawad region.
The popular belief is that those Brahman families who specialized in all 4 vedas came to be known as Chaturvedi (chatur means 4 in Sanskrit), those who specialized in 3 vedas came to be known as Trivedi or Tripathi (tri means 3 in Sanskrit), Dwivedi specialized in 2 vedas (dwi means 2 in Sanskrit), those who only studied the vedas but didn't specialize in them came to be known as Pathak i.e the reader, while those who specialized in Upanishads were known as Upadhyaya.
The name Shukla (aberration of su-kul meaning, from good lineage or of higher family tree), Pandey (meaning pundit) and Mishra (meaning mixed knowledge of Vedas and Puranas) indicated Brahmins who specialized in all Vedas plus Puranas in Northern Indian states. However, Shukla brahmins were usually gurus by profession, and thus lived prominent, respectable lives in society.